Defence Trailblazer launches $12M program to boost defence capabilities

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Defence Trailblazer announced the launch of its new Accelerating Sovereign Industrial Capabilities (ASIC) grant funding program, aimed at supporting industry efforts to enhance capabilities aligned with Defence’s new sovereign industrial priorities.

The ASIC program seeks to expedite the translation of defence research and development (R&D) activities into tangible capabilities aligned with the Sovereign Defence Industrial Priorities (SDIPs),

Dr Sanjay Mazumdar, executive director of Defence Trailblazer, emphasised the importance of targeted industrial development in strategic priority areas outlined in the Defence Industry Development Strategy.

“The Defence Industry Development Strategy states that developing the sovereign defence industrial base Australia needs to meet our strategic circumstances requires targeted industrial development in areas of strategic priority. The ASIC program aims to enable faster commercialisation of larger scale defence R&D activities and collaborations aligned to the new strategic priority capabilities Defence requires,” stated Dr Mazumdar.

Industry organisations based in Australia, including both new and existing partners, are encouraged to submit project proposals under the ASIC program.

Collaborative projects involving at least one Defence Trailblazer research university, such as the University of Adelaide and/or UNSW, are highly encouraged.

With up to $12 million in funding available, successful applicants will be required to provide matching cash co-contributions.

Preference will be given to proposals demonstrating the ability to scale R&D efforts, with a focus on small-medium enterprise (SME) led initiatives and multi-party collaborations.

In addition to financial support, Defence Trailblazer offers access to workforce skilling and attraction initiatives, including student projects and placements, proto-lab network facilities and equipment, and staff mobility programs, which can be incorporated into project proposals.

Applications for the ASIC program open on 28 May 2024 and close on 10 July 2024.